What is the best time to buy a house in 2023
Perhaps one of the most common questions any real estate agent receives is “When is the best time of year to buy a home”? (The other question is “What's a great time to sell my home?”). If home buyers have the choice, they should try to buy a home at the most opportune time. But WHEN is the right time?
There are a lot of factors which influence home buyer's decision whether to buy a new home. Among them are:
- Mortgage Interest Rate
- Housing Prices
- Economic Outlook
These factors will effect an entire city equally, so why are some seasons busier with buyer activity than others? And which is the best month to buy a house?
When everyone else is selling…..buy!
A wise man, British Rabbi and philosopher Johnathan Sacks, coined the phrase : “When others are selling, buy! When others are buying, sell!”
This is very true in the housing market as well.
In Winnipeg's real estate market, it is well documented that the spring months are the most active for home buyers. This is of course the most common time for ‘bidding wars', and it's a good time to sell your house or condo. Home sales and home prices are driven upward by hectic home buyer activity.
Over the summer months, lots of new listings come to the market, and then towards the late summer, early fall time, buyer activity levels off. This often means that unsold homes remain on the market, making the fall time a prime time to buy a home.
Take a look at this chart:
Best Time To Buy A House In Winnipeg
Let's take a look at the difference between April and October of this past year, 2022.
On April 1st, 2022 we had a total of just 426 houses on the market, compared to a whopping 1336 houses in October.
During the month of April we sold 780 houses, while in October we sold just 579. So we had 68% FEWER LISTINGS at the same time we had 35% HIGHER SALES. Not an ideal situation for buyers!!!
The most revealing stat is the ‘Days Of Inventory'. In April it was 17 days of inventory, but in October that number was nearly 4 times higher…..62 days.
What are ‘Days of Inventory’?
If you ask the question: “How long would it take to sell ALL homes on the market, assuming NO NEW LISTINGS were being added?” The answer is ‘Days of Inventory'.
Naturally, the higher that number, the better for home buyers (Buyer's Market). Alternatively, a lower D.O.I. indicates a seller's market.
Generally speaking, Winnipeg's real estate market follows a predictable path over the year. Buyer activity picks up in the early spring and runs hot thru the early summer, before pulling back over the late fall and early winter. Fewer people look for homes during the cold Winnipeg winter time.
Listings follow suit, with the number of homes becoming more plentiful over the warmer months, before slowing down over the fall time, with January and February featuring extremely low inventory levels.
Best Time Of The Year To Buy A Home: Late Summer and Fall
As Mr. Sacks noted: “When others are selling…buy”. In Winnipeg's real estate market that means September, October, November and possible early December are the best times to buy a home.
During the late summer and early fall, home buyers will find plenty of inventory, and less competition from other buyers. They have the best chance to complete a home purchase at list price, (asking price), and possibly get the best deal possible for themselves.
I call this the ‘sweet spot' for buyers. There are plenty of homes available, and buyer activity drops off.
Least Opportune Time To Buy A Home: Mid Spring to Mid Summer
Maybe it's our long winter months, but those can only be partially blamed for this phenomenon. Other cities in warmer climates, experience similar situations. Whatever the reason, buyers come out in droves in the spring time, wanting to buy a new home and take possession before the new school year.
Whereas late summer and fall was a sweet spot for buyers, these early spring days are it for home sellers. LOTS of buyer activity, and not a lot of homes for sale (yet).
This of course creates those bidding wars, when multiple potential home buyers bid for the same home. This is especially true in the early spring months, when buyers find fewer homes available. The buyers who tend to win these bidding wars are usually ones who have an extra large down payment and an outstanding credit score. First-time buyers with limited funds are in for a tough fight at this time.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it's a good idea to consult real estate professionals about the market activity in your area. They have the tools and data to talk to you about home values, house prices and your local market conditions.
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